Art Wooten


Born: February 4, 1906
Died: October 6, 1986
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Alleghany County has two of the great fiddlers of bluegrass: Art Wooten and Tim Smith. Art Wooten, Bill Monroe's first fiddler, played fiddle with Monroe at the Bluegrass Boys' first appearance at Grand Old Opry in 1939. Art has eight recordings with Monroe.  Seven of them are on the RCA Country Legends Bill Monroe. The other, Muleskinner Blues recorded live at Grand Ole Opry, can be found in a 4cd set, The Music of Bill Monroe from 1936 to 1994. After WW2 he recorded at least four songs with Flatt & Scruggs and at least eight with the Stanley Brothers. Art's later years were spent back home in Alleghany. He recorded two LPs with LW Lambert's band backing him, one old-time and one bluegrass. Art played quite a bit with the local bluegrass band, Green Mountain Boys, his friend Jr Maxwell playing the banjo. Art won the Galax Fiddlers Convention seven times. Art  was caught on film in his old age at the tail end of the documentary, Sprout Wings And Fly, about Tommy Jarrell. Tommy talked Art into playing something despite his 'ticker,' and he cut loose. Tim Smith was sitting close by keeping rhythm with his fiddle for Art. Whit Sizemore and Tom Norman of Shady Mountain Ramblers stood behind him watching and listening. He tore up Sally Goodin. When he was done, Tommy slapped him on the knee and said, 'You aint near dead yet!'

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